Targeted therapy of cancer: new roles for pathologists--prostate cancer.

TitleTargeted therapy of cancer: new roles for pathologists--prostate cancer.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsRubin MA
JournalMod Pathol
Volume21 Suppl 2
Date Published2008 May
KeywordsAntineoplastic Agents, Clinical Trials as Topic, Drug Delivery Systems, Humans, Male, Pathology, Clinical, Physicians, Prostatic Neoplasms, Tumor Markers, Biological

The clinical dilemma today in the management of prostate cancer (PCA) is to distinguish men who need definitive treatment from men who have indolent disease. As demonstrated most recently by the randomized Scandinavian trial evaluating the benefit of prostatectomy over Watchful Waiting, surgery significantly decreased the risk of death from PCA. However, this same study also suggests that 19 men need to be treated to benefit one man. Given the high prevalence of the disease, the aging of the population, and the potential morbidity of treatment, the ability to distinguish aggressive from indolent forms of PCA is critical. Treatment for advanced PCA begins with androgen ablation, but eventually hormone-refractory (HR) PCA emerges. Novel therapies are in various stages of clinical trials, including kinase inhibitors, antisense oligonucleotides, and inhibitors of heat-shock proteins. The discovery of novel therapeutic approaches is an active area of clinical research. Eliminating HR PCA before it advances is a high priority in the biomarker field. Therefore, the development of molecular signatures of lethal PCA are critical. In addition, the recent discovery that a significant percentage of PCAs harbor a TMPRSS2-ETS gene fusion suggests that targeting either the ETS transcription factors or the fusion product may offer a novel approach to therapy. However, in 2007, the mainstay of treatment for advanced PCA remains androgen ablation therapy as originally introduced in the early 1940s.

Alternate JournalMod. Pathol.
PubMed ID18437173